Unity Medical Center, a 14-bed critical-access hospital and two family care clinics serving the Grafton, North Dakota, region, has worked to boost retention through promoting employee well-being.
“We work hard to find the right match for each position and, once we bring them on, we really nurture the relationship and do everything we can think of to make it work well,” said CEO Alan O’Neil.
The medical center encourages employees to use its physical therapy gym for free outside of physical therapy appointment hours. Its health and wellness committee, facilitated by UMC’s dietitian and physical therapy assistant, plans health-oriented events throughout the year such as cooking classes, wellness challenges and a summer walking club.
The committee hosts presenters from UMC’s employee assistance program to offer educational sessions on topics such as stress management, emotional and mental health, physical health and financial health.
The strategy is paying off: Nursing vacancies are rare and there hasn’t been any turnover in the laboratory for three years, O’Neil said.
Helping employees manage stress and mental health, as well as physical health, is also a priority for Compass One Healthcare, a food and support services company for more than 2,100 hospitals and health systems. The company offers its employees 100% coverage for preventive care, lifestyle health coaching, chronic condition management and a nurse support line.
Recognizing that its managers were struggling with burnout, Wayne, Pennsylvania-headquartered Compass One recently launched a flexible time off benefit: sick days and vacation days that its managers can take without accruing hours.
“Our FTO benefit is intended to help reinforce and drive work/life balance for our salaried employees,” said Andy Maus, senior vice president of human resources. “It empowers them to take their needed and well-deserved time off and provides flexibility in doing so.”
Lola Butcher is a freelance journalist who writes about health policy and the business of healthcare.